Face it: unless you can afford to live on your own, someone’s going to be in your space.
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to share your belongings like you share the apartment. Early boundary-setting is important, and even trivial items should be discussed. However, even after this conversation, there’s always that one roomie who will continue to touch your stuff. Though they’re in the wrong, you will still want to handle the situation in a healthy way. You have to live together, and there’s no sense in making things worse.
Some roommates split the grocery bill, and some don’t. The best way to protect your fair share of what you buy is to buy separately. This way, you won’t have to worry about if you’re eating too much or not enough of something you put money towards. But beware. There’s nothing worse than thinking all day about the food you’re going to eat when you get back, then coming home to find someone’s eaten it. You might have shared if you were asked, but now your saltier than those leftovers. Try talking to them again, but if discussions just aren’t cutting it, don’t stoop to fighting over it. Instead, try hiding your food, label your groceries with your name or, for more drastic measures, buy a Fridge Locker and put your things under lock and key.
Maybe you alternate who purchases toilet paper, but your expensive shampoo and body lotion should be your own. If your roommate has been using these items without your consent, talk to her and explain why that’s not okay. If you notice she doesn’t heed your request, hide your toiletries in your bedroom and bring them out only when you need them.
Securing the Bedroom
Your bedroom should automatically be considered your own private space and off limits to anyone else without your say. However, there are still people who don’t understand the concept of “personal boundaries” and come in uninvited anyway. Vocally set boundaries on your room, because they may come from somewhere where it isn’t seen as an invasion of privacy so much as a sign of closeness. If they continue to disrespect your space, consider replacing your bedroom doorknob with one that locks on the outside. Each time you leave the house, you’ll be able to ensure the safety of your property and your privacy.
If your bedroom is double occupancy, it may be wise to invest in a safe. What’s more, many apartment complexes offer additional storage spaces you can rent for the things you use less often.
Common Room Conflict
The living room is tricky. If you own a laptop or a gaming system and leave it in the common space, roommates may feel that they can use these items without asking you first. Maybe you don’t mind if they use these items. But, if you do mind, put them away when you are finished with them. If your roommate takes them even after they’ve been put away, consider keeping them in your room when they’re not in use. If you have a locking bedroom door, your stuff will be secure.
At the end of the day, however, you don’t want to room with someone who disrespects your boundaries. If it gets to that point, you may want to ultimately consider moving out.
About the Author: Faith Ellis is a Digital Marketing student and owner of Ladies, Lattes, and Lifting. She has a strong passion for writing and fitness and dreams of a career in content writing. Faith lives with her husband and furbaby in North Carolina, and enjoys local food and travel in her free time.